Rendering in DaVinci Resolve: Tips for Playback and Exporting

DaVinci Resolve April 29, 2020 3 min read

Maybe you’re interested in a smoother playback on your project, or maybe you’re in the final stages and want to export your timeline. Either way, learning how to render in DaVinci Resolve is an important step in getting to grips with the program.

In this tutorial you’ll learn some quick tips on using DaVinci Resolve to render the timeline, improving your playback speed and smoothness. You’ll also find out what you need to do to take your project from a timeline within DaVinci Resolve to a final file that you can upload to YouTube, or share using another platform.

Part 1: How to Render Timeline For Quicker Playback

If you want your timeline to playback quicker within DaVinci Resolve, you have two main options. The first is rendering your cache, which will optimize the playback of just the timeline you’ve created so far. The other is optimizing any media in your Media Pool to create a proxy, that’s a lower quality version of your clip which will allow for quicker playback of your timeline, even as you continue to add new clips.

Option 1: Render Cache

1. Open your Timeline in the Edit tab.

2. Click and drag across your timeline to select all of your clips.

3. Right-click on your highlighted clips and select Render Cache Fusion Output > On.

4. In the top toolbar select Playback > Render Cache > User.

5. Wait until the red bar above your timeline turns blue, signaling it is optimized for playback.

Option 2: Optimize Media

1. Enter the Media or Edit tab.

2. Select your desired media in the Media Pool by pressing the Control key while you click on the clips you want to select to highlight multiple clips.

3. Once you have made your selection, right-click, and select Generate Optimized Media.

4. A message will appear telling you the estimated time it will take to optimize your media. Once it’s finished, your media will be optimized for playback whether you have already added it to your timeline or not.

Part 2: How to Export Your Final Video

When it comes to exporting your timeline, you need to choose a number of settings to decide the type of final file you’ll end up with. All of this is done in the Delivery tab of DaVinci Resolve. Here is a brief introduction to the Delivery panel if all you want to do is to quickly export your clips using some of DaVinci Resolve 16’s best render settings.

Step 1: Quick Overview of the Delivery Tab

1. You will adjust your settings in the top left window where you find the Render Settings.

2. You can scrub through your final timeline at the bottom of the screen, or watch it playback on your preview window at center screen. You won’t be able to make any changes to your timeline here.

3. See how many versions of your project are in line to be exported in the Render Queue in the top right of your screen.

Step 2: Best Render Settings for a YouTube Upload

DaVinci Resolve makes life easier for the user by having a range of export templates. These are ideal if you don’t want to spend time creating your own custom render settings. Here is the best way to quickly export a video for YouTube.

1. Select the YouTube template from the top menu.

2. Unless your resolution is higher or lower (e.g. a 4k or 720p project), make sure you have selected 1080p using the arrow on the right of the template.

3. Enter your File name and choose where it will be saved by clicking on the Browse button next to Location.

4. Click on Add to Render Queue.

5. When you have added all of your projects you want to export, click on the Start Render button in the Render Queue workspace. Remember, your render time will depend on the length of your video and you can see the time elapsed and an estimation of the time left on your export at the bottom of your Render Queue while it’s exporting.

If you want further information on the best settings to use when you export your project, check out this comprehensive guide on exporting in DaVinci Resolve in 2020.


When it comes to how to render in DaVinci Resolve, you’ve now not only understood how to make your playback faster within your timeline but also the basics of how to export your final project. If you are interested in learning more about the best export settings for your project, then check out our tutorial article on identifying and putting in place the best export settings for your DaVinci Resolve project.